SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD

Rosebud Theatre’s production

Like the seasoned professional that I am, I forgot my pen and notebook. This outing was not off to a good start. Lucky for me I was able to pick up a beautiful handmade notebook at the Mercantile and I found an Ikea pencil in my car, (sorry Ikea). There were many other treasures in this little store, but I think I showed amazing restraint and settled for just the notebook. After purchasing said notebook, we showed our tickets and I was delighted that we were given the option to eat on the patio. I was very impressed with their thoughtfulness, when they were careful to let us know that the seats in the shade were all taken, so we would be in full sun. We decided to eat on the patio anyway. We were told to wait in the Mercantile until they called our names. Once again, I controlled myself while perusing through the Harry Potter candles, handmade dish towels and so many other items that looked like they needed to be at my house. I was also able to pop back to the car to get my sunglasses, before our table was ready.

Our server introduced herself, which I sometimes find uncomfortable, but it seemed very natural and friendly in this setting. Jaala, our server, was lovely and she took great care of us. The buffet was delicious and not only offered plenty of variety, but the specialty options were very well labeled as vegetarian, vegan or gluten free. The patio was rustic but comfortable and was adorned with beautiful pots of flowers. It was a little hot in the sun, but Jaala made sure to keep our water glasses filled, so we were well hydrated, which was much appreciated.

We had some time to fill between our meal and the show, so we decided to check out the Banks and Braes Bed and Breakfast, which was having an open house. This proved to be the right decision. This place was such a wonderful surprise. It was reminiscent of the great manors and estates that I visited while I was in the United Kingdom, and that is no accident. It was built from the ground up and is meant to feel like an estate that has been converted into an English country house hotel. The high ceilings, beautiful decor and attention to detail were awe inspiring and I didn’t want to leave, but the show was about to start, so we scurried back up the hill as quickly as we could manage and arrived with 3 minutes to spare.
The show included a 3 piece band which consisted of Bass, Percussion and Piano. The live music added dimension to the musical numbers, which was very much appreciated. The music had lots of intricate harmonies, which would be challenging for any singer/performer. There was always lots going on via silhouettes backstage or in the wings, and the performers were great at playing off each other. Even the musicians were in on the action, following the movements at times, whether it was actually physically walking around behind the performers or just playfully following them with their eyes.
As for the play itself, well it left me a bit confused. There is no doubt that the performers did a great job, but this play, which is described as an Abstract Musical, felt so different that I wasn’t sure what I felt. I don’t like to be critical, (no it’s not in my job title, I am a reviewer, not a critic), but I have never been a big fan of abstract art and so I guess it makes sense that this was not my favourite play. That speaks more to my personal preferences than to the quality of the production. Everyone gave very good performances.
There were two pieces that really stood out for me. The first was The World Was Dancing. It appeared to be about choices, decisions, and indecision. What it said to me was that dancing or freedom for everyone was different. In any case, it felt poignant and almost sorrowful. Both the music, and the dance seemed to flow and were very easy on the eyes and ears. The harmonies were beautiful.
The other performance that blew me away was Surabaya-Santa. Full disclosure, I have no idea what this was about or why it was included in this particular play, but Alixandra Cowman’s talent was made very clear by this astonishing performance. All I could think of is how I wanted to see her in Les Miserables or some other huge musical. She gave an amazing performance. I love going to these productions and the hamlet of Rosebud itself is such a lovely place to be, that this was time well spent. All in all, it was still a great day and I feel fortunate to have been invited to participate. I hope to be back soon for more surprises. I’ll work on my appreciation for all things abstract and I will try to remember a notebook and paper.

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